from The Great Debate:

The Anglo-Saxons love of secrets … and a good fight

By John Lloyd
August 6, 2015

A detail from graffiti art is seen on a wall near the headquarters of Britain's eavesdropping agency, GCHQ, in Cheltenham, western England

A detail from graffiti art is seen on a wall near the headquarters of Britain's eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, in Cheltenham, England, April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

from The Great Debate:

Why NSA surveillance is worse than you’ve ever imagined

By James Bamford
May 11, 2015



Last summer, after months of encrypted emails, I spent three days in Moscow hanging out with Edward Snowden for a Wired cover story. Over pepperoni pizza, he told me that what finally drove him to leave his country and become a whistleblower was his conviction that the National Security Agency was conducting illegal surveillance on every American. Thursday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York agreed with him.

from Stories I’d like to see:

More questions for Snowden and the GOP establishment takes on the 2016 primaries

By Steven Brill
June 3, 2014

Accused government whistleblower Snowden is seen on a screen as he speaks via videoconference with members of the Committee on legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg

1. Snowden questions NBC missed:

In his interview with NBC’s Brian Williams last week, Edward Snowden tried to bolster his credentials this way: “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word -- in that I lived and worked undercover, overseas, pretending to work in a job … and even being assigned a name that was not mine …. Now, the government might deny these things. They might frame it in certain ways, and say, ‘Oh, well, you know, he's a low-level analyst.’”

from The Great Debate:

Senate must rein in the NSA

By Elizabeth Goitein
June 2, 2014

An illustration picture shows the logo of the U.S. National Security Agency on the display of an iPhone in Berlin

The House of Representatives seemed poised last month to rein in the government's ability to spy on its citizens by prohibiting the bulk collection of Americans' telephone records. On the eve of the vote, however, the Obama administration and House leadership intervened. In secret negotiations, they took a carving knife to the bill, removing key privacy protections.

from Jack Shafer:

The (misguided) passion of Glenn Greenwald

By Jack Shafer
May 14, 2014


It's not that journalists have thin skins -- it's that they have no skins.

This adage gets trotted out once a month or more in better newsrooms to provide context for the overreaction of a reporter or editor who has found himself on the receiving end of criticism for something they've published. This week, some journalists who have been critical of Glenn Greenwald are seeking skin grafts for their skin grafts after reading his denunciation of them in the final chapter of his new book about the Snowden files, No Place to Hide.

from Jack Shafer:

State Secrets in the Snowden Era

By Jack Shafer
May 6, 2014

This piece originally appeared in the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs, and is reprinted with permission.

from The Great Debate:

The Republican war cuts through CPAC

By Craig Shirley
March 11, 2014

The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference has ended but the harsh debate between the Republican establishment and the Tea Party goes on. Though nothing remains static indefinitely. Things do change.

from The Great Debate:

Reagan’s true legacy: The Tea Party

By Craig Shirley
February 6, 2014


Challenging the status quo is the correct condition of American conservatism.

At the end of the American Revolution, Benjamin Rush, who had signed the Declaration of Independence, vowed that though the war with Great Britain was over, the Revolution would go on.

from The Great Debate:

Drones: From bad habit to terrible policy

By Naureen Shah
February 4, 2014

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) recently lambasted legislation that may prevent the White House from transferring the lethal drone program from the CIA to the Defense Department. The provision is in a classified part of the bill, so the public may never know what it says.

from The Great Debate:

On NSA, Obama still says ‘trust me’

By Ari Melber
January 17, 2014

President Barack Obama’s speech on Friday on intelligence reform marked a bullish shift in his approach to the National Security Agency.